May 18 (UPI) -- Ecuador announced on Friday it will remove extra security at its British embassy, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has received asylum since 2012.
The country's National Communications Secretariat said the embassy will have "normal security similar to Ecuador's embassies in the world."
The announcement follows a change in Ecuador's political leadership, with the election of President Lenin Moreno in 2017. It was also revealed this week that Ecuador spent $5 million protecting Assange by monitoring visitors, embassy personnel and British police.
The operation to house and protect Assange was supported by former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
In March, Assange's Internet connection at the embassy was withdrawn to prevent him from interfering in other countries' diplomatic issues, the Ecuadorean government said at the time. The move came after Assange questioned accusations that Russia was responsible for the March 4 poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
Assange received asylum at the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where was wanted for questioning in a sex crime case.
Although Swedish officials have dropped their investigation, Britain still seeks his arrest on violations of bail conditions.
Assange could also be extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy. In 2010, WikiLeaks published secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents relating to alleged human rights violations and war crimes.